Gas mileage way up! - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-25-2008, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Gas mileage way up!

Here's one for you all to chew on... Long post, bear with me in advance.

I am a bit miffed myself, but because I keep pretty thorough records of stuff, I know the below is real, but HOW?

Time line:

Put new chain and sprockets on in late May (03 Vee). Went from 17/42T gearing to 17/41t. Did a road trip to Moab, Utah and back from my home in Palmer Lake, Colorado right after the change. A little over 45 mpg average for 900 miles. Keep in mind, changing the gearing changes the odometer's accuracy. I checked with my GPS and the 17/41 combo gives me a 1% error (shows more miles than I actually travel) and with the 17/42 combo I had a 4% error calculated by the same method. So, I always adjust my miles travelled to account for the error when figuring actual gas mileage.

About 500 miles ago, I adjusted the valves and set them to middle of spec on exhaust (all were at minimum spec, tight) and based on the shims available, set the intakes to .007 (.004-.008 spec, and all were at .004 or .005, tight like the exhaust valves).

Also put my K&N air filter back in at the time of valve adjustment, after changing back to the stock filter last fall. I ran the K&N for a couple thousand miles previously but pulled it out when I felt the driveability was being affected (the dreaded surging). Saw no difference in MPG previously with the K&N. Got the TFI dialed in real well now, so went back to the K&N to see if I had any issues, and I don't. Runs great.

Last week took a 190 mile round trip up to Boulder for work. Mileage was 49.5mpg. Next, ran 125 miles back and forth to work (35 mile round trip) and running errands. Filled up last night, 47.6 mpg. Went up to Fort Collins and Greeley today for work, 270 mile round trip. 50.5 mpg for this trip. Fillling up at the same pump, facing the same direction, filling it to the same point in the filler neck, you get the idea.

I have done all these runs before adjusting the valves and putting the K&N back in, and average 44 mpg on the work commute round trip, and never better than 46 mpg on the Boulder or Fort Collins run.

Anyway, thought I'd share and if any of you are thinking of a valve adjustment and it's over due, might not be a bad idea!
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-25-2008, 02:22 AM
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Hmm let's see now at 2100 kms on the DL1000, last tank I got about 30 mpg, thought that was really good.

I ride the mountains with a heavy right hand.

Your point though is that when well maintained you maximize mileage. Well my bike is about perfect in every way but to get 50 mpg I'd have to ride very different roads in a very different way.

A couple mpg difference is hard to say for sure. I mean first of all you can't calibrate how full you fill the tank. But noted you've seen a nice little trend going up and up, good for you.

Most important though, are you enjoying the ride or trying to save money on fuel?

Jim Davis, Owner, Eastern Beaver Company:
http://easternbeaver.com/ - Motorcycle Electrics: 2007 DL1000 with 16/43 gearing, Superbrace, Tokico 4 Pot fronts, BackoffXP, H4 Dual Relay Kit, PC-8 Fusepanel, 2 Powerlet Sockets, Suzuki Centerstand - 1988 Africa Twin 650, 1990 VFR 750.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-25-2008, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbonser View Post
Keep in mind, changing the gearing changes the odometer's accuracy.
?? Speedo cable comes off the front wheel, right? How can engine gearing possibly have any effect on odo accuracy? Did you change tires at the same time?
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-25-2008, 10:12 AM
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Very interesting. What was your bike's total mileage at the time of the adjustment?


On my wee, the speedo/odometer sensor is in the front wheel, so gearing changes have no effect on accuracy. At 80mph indicated, gps says I'm only doing 74mph. That makes for a lot of extra miles showing on the od.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-25-2008, 10:17 AM
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On the 650, the speedo/odo sensor is on the front wheel. On the 1000, it is connected to the transmission and is subject to change with sprocket changes.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-25-2008, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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QuietMike,

Mileage on the bike at adjustment was 25,980. Bought the bike with 14,900 on it and don't know if they had been adjusted by previous owner. So, this could have been the first adjustment. FWIW, the gas mileage has been consistent from day one, so it had settled in so to speak.

Jim Davis,

I ride normal for the most part. Love goosing it to gap cars on the interstate to keep my "happy space", and pulling the straights between curves. Most of the riding is steady state, so from that standpoint I keep an even hand on the throttle. Definitely not trying to save gas, it is what it is. My speed yesterday on the trip to Ft.Collins/Greeley was 80 mph on the Interstate and 70 mph on the 65 mph highways. I just know my bike and for the improvement to be this noticeable I was stunned.

Can't explain it other than that is what I did to the bike and it isn't a one-time thing.

I'm doing an overnight down to Westcliffe area tonight, so I'll get a great dose of 60-65 mph riding on two laners. I'll let you all know how it does.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-25-2008, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
On the 650, the speedo/odo sensor is on the front wheel. On the 1000, it is connected to the transmission and is subject to change with sprocket changes.
Ah, ok. Roger that.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-25-2008, 10:55 AM
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Yea, even though I didn't know that from experience, I figured Hbonser was too detailed to have it wrong. Never jump the the conclusion that you know more than the next guy.

I am curious about mileage related maintenance (owner's manual recommendations not withstanding) if only because I seem to ride this bike more than any I've ever had. I'm on par for 12k/year and most of that is just commuting. $4/gallon contributes to that.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-28-2008, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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The gas mileage continues. Did a 230 mile round trip Friday/Saturday, at speeds for the most part of 55-65 mph on twisty and flowing 2 lane highways. Full bags and top case along with my 265# weight and riding gear. Gas pump said 4.524 gallons to fill to the same point in the filler neck at the same pump I used before I left. 50.96 mpg. I didn't run the bike hard, but just rode normal like I do 90+% of the time.

Wanted to let you know the phenomenon continues.

The other thing I've done to the bike is put in a high concentration of LUCAS fuel injector cleaner through it right after the valve adjustment and putting the K&N airfilter back in. I buy it in galllon jugs and it lasts a long time. If you buy the smaller one-use bottles, you'll pay $4 for one treatment, where one gallon costs $21.

I have heard this stuff helps increase mileage, but I am a non-believer in that kind of claim. I use it to help clean the fuel system and inectors in all my vehicles, which I'm sure it does at least as well as any other fuel system cleaner. BUT the fact my mileage went up makes me have to mention it to cover all bases. However, I haven't added any since that first tank after the valve adjustmet, almost 800 miles ago.

The ONLY other factor that I didn't do to the bike per-se, is if there has been a gas re-formulation here in Colorado that is leading to more mpg. We have winter gas and summer gas, but the summer gas comes in around April as far as I know (from years past) and then we get the winter gas around November. So I would have had the summer gas in the bike for the last 4 months, unless they held off and introduced the summer gas in June.
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-28-2008, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtalk View Post
?? Speedo cable comes off the front wheel, right? How can engine gearing possibly have any effect on odo accuracy? Did you change tires at the same time?
on a 1K the mileage is calculated from a ring on the front sprocket... 650 has front wheel cable for speedo...

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Robert "Coop" Cooper
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00 KLR650
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